ATTLAS grows both roots and wings in debut LP, ‘Lavender God’ [Review]

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ATTLAS grows both roots and wings in debut LP, ‘Lavender God’ [Review]Attlas Photo Credit Maria Jose Govea

ATTLAS‘ debut album on mau5trap has been half a decade in the making. The Canadian producer has steadily garnered a devoted fan base over the past five-plus years with numerous singles and remixes, a well-rounded set of EPs, and a celebrated Storyline mix series. He was largely quiet on the release front in 2019, spending time putting together the latest Storyline episode and tackling an even bigger project: Lavender God.

In the final month of 2019, ATTLAS announced the LP was on its way and shared its first single, “Sinner Complicated.” The six-minute track showcased the full-bodied auditory experience that was to come, and he followed it up with “Hotel” with Maylyn shortly after.

Lavender God was released on Jan. 31, featuring 10 tracks that span from contemplative instrumental pieces to lighter collaborations with artists like Alisa Xayalith of The Naked and Famous.

ATTLAS’ meticulous attention to detail is evident in every angle of Lavender God‘s 48 minutes and 21 seconds. He sets the scene with “Shatter,” an adventurous, multi-faceted introductory track that leads the listener down the rabbit hole to fully experience the captivating twists and turns he has composed.

With the help of Lambert, ATTLAS moves gracefully from “Shatter” to “A Winding Path.” This delicate tune feels like one gorgeous four-minute build, as the artist continues to introduce his listener to the longer format of this collection.

“Half Light” with Xayalith delivers a more pop-friendly atmosphere, as the songstress’ vocals soar over relaxing instrumentals. A dreamy piano melody serves as both the intro and outro to this song, tying it together beautifully.

The album’s namesake, “Lavender God,” follows. The tune continues the introspective tone set by its predecessors. Its purposeful pace gives the listener ample time to immerse themselves in its mellow melodies, and it’s easy to see why the artist chose this track and its name to summarize the 10-track collection.

The late fall and early winter months are impeccably captured in “November,” a track that leads off with a scattered melody. The theme builds in gradual layers, adding delicate background piano before fading back into its original singular refrain.

The shortest track on the LP is followed by one more than twice its length, “Sinner Complicated.” The song arrived as the album’s debut single in mid-December, giving a taste of the complex world-building fans would be able to experience when the full LP arrived. It nestles cohesively in the middle of the album, paving the way for “Ray of Light” to follow.

“Ray of Light” lends a more optimistic tone after the shadowy atmosphere of “Sinner Complicated,” introducing itself with bright synths just as its name suggests. A calming piano melody and soothing orchestral elements balance out the bold synthwork, making it a stunning example of all ATTLAS is capable of.

An air of mystery returns in “Home.” Though it begins with a slightly haunting introduction, “Home” eventually opens up to a warmer soundscape, and ATTLAS delivers dramatic ebbs and flows throughout the course of the tune’s nearly five minutes.

ATTLAS brings Maylyn aboard for “Hotel,” which arrived as the LP’s second and final single before its full release. This upbeat number is sure to thrill dance music fans at its steady 120 BPM and encourages swaying or head-bobbing with a steady beat.

The LP wraps with “More Than That,” the second-longest song in the collection. This orchestral piece is destined for symphony play, punctuated by dramatic horns and intriguing percussion in its first half. ATTLAS switches it up just before the 3:30 mark to deliver a second half that takes on an entirely different form, illustrating his versatility in a way that makes the listener think back on the journey from “Shatter” to the ending notes of “More Than That.”

Over the course of this LP, ATTLAS masterfully demonstrates the deep-set roots he’s taken painstaking care to establish over the past five years. At the same time, he’s able to showcase what’s to come: years of top-notch, unique productions that make him invaluable to the ever-evolving music scene.

Lavender God is an unprecedented adventure, with ATTLAS fearless at the helm.


Photo credit: Maria Jose Govea

NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein remixes ROSALÍA, ATTLAS continues to preview upcoming LP + more

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NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein remixes ROSALÍA, ATTLAS continues to preview upcoming LP + moreGesaffelstein Jorge Meza Photos

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Jorge Meza Photos

HEYZ launches his next sonic chapter with ‘Human 404’ EP [Q&A]

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HEYZ launches his next sonic chapter with ‘Human 404’ EP [Q&A]Heyz Press Shot

The artist known as HEYZ has only been releasing music for a little more than two years, but he’s been making early waves with high-profile releases like his Schedule 1 EP on mau5trap. Though still early on in his music career, the producer has transitioned to what he calls the “next chapter” of his sound, which listeners can observe in his new Human 404 EP, out Aug. 16 on Bite This.

Over the course of the three-track EP, fans will still be able to observe the shadowy realm of his techno and heavy bass roots, but tracks like “Castaway King” and “Clear” tap into a more vocal-oriented side of the North Carolina artist’s production.

Read our Q&A with HEYZ, then stream the new EP below.


What can fans expect from the Human 404 EP?

Fans can expect for their lives to completely change once they listen to the EP. All personal issues should be erased, debts cleared… if someone was having an issue getting a girlfriend or boyfriend, the EP will immediately make them a sex magnet with a personality to boot that would stand up to a three-hour one-on-one conversation with Matthew McConaughey at a half-empty bar in the middle of nowhere. Truly transformative shit. On the real, fans can expect to hear three (hopefully great) records that are a mixture of strong melodic and cinematic concepts with heavy-bassy backbones and “get-stuck-in-your-head” type vocals. 

What does this EP mean to you?

The EP means a lot to me, honestly, it’s a representation of the “next chapter” of the HEYZ project. I titled it Human 404 because the lyrical themes deal with personal relationships and the emotions that come with them. For example, “Castaway King” is a metaphor for when a beautiful girl lures a guy to his demise using Greek mythology to paint the picture of a siren luring in a ship. MAYLYN and her writers killed it… some Shakespeare-type shit, straight up.

What are some of the key differences between Human 404 and the Schedule 1 EP?

Schedule 1 was me at my adolescence of producing, each record was among the first 10 records or so I ever wrote and finished. I think my actual production/writing skills have improved since then, and that should be reflected in Human 404. I just try to get better with each new record. Human 404 is slower, grittier, heavier and a tighter “song writing” wise. You’ll still hear my love for beautiful melodies in both EPs and a focus on thicc boy basslines, but Human 404 is me being truer to myself as a producer. I hope if you have been a fan of mine, or are just discovering me, you’ll enjoy both. 

What prompted this “next chapter” in your sound?

It was actually a really specific instance. I played a headline show in LA last year and played a techno set from start to finish. The room was half-full and I felt like I couldn’t get the crowd as engaged as I wanted to. I compared how I felt during and after that set to how I felt playing very small local sets in North Carolina throwing down nasty bass music and how absolutely raucous it made me and the crowd. I had a realization that the music I was making wasn’t quite what I wanted to play in my sets. I started writing Human 404 on the plane ride back to North Carolina with a focus on creating a vibe that could both light up a venue and be an everyday listening experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some killer techno sets, but yeah, I really enjoy playing and making bass music. 

Why did you choose “Castaway King” as the initial single?

I found it to be always stuck in my head and thought it was a good “single-package” representation of the EP as a whole. People I showed the EP to early also gravitated towards that song in particular… there were also many cases of “Clear” and “In My Arms” coming out as favorites as well.

How did the collaborations with MAYLYN and TIAAN come about?

My good friend Joey, who actually discovered my early music and got it signed to mau5trap, linked me with both of them. Both “Castaway King” with MAYLYN, and “Clear” with TIAAN were pretty effortless endeavors when it came to meshing their respective vocals with the instrumentals I was writing. Kudos to both those amazing artists for killing it! 

What’s coming up for the remainder of 2019?

I’m going to keep finishing records. I’m writing some even gnarlier records and actually have another one finished with MAYLYN. I’m going to find a manager and agent and become the world’s most famous and attractive EDM artist on the planet. Once that’s done, we’ll likely be focusing on solidifying my contracts to headline Coachella and Ultra next year if we can get the money right, I’m not stooping below 10 million and an 18-wheeler full of Virginia tobacco Juul pods and Bud Light.

Who are some artists you’re inspired by lately?

I’m really inspired by Porter Robinson‘s all around musical greatness. His melody writing is fantastic and he really has a talent for writing records that will endure the test of time. I also love Peekaboo and his ability to write really stripped down records that smack like a donkey on Adderall (dunno if that metaphor made any sense but it did to me). I also listen to a lot of progressive house like Lane 8 and Anjuna peeps. ALWAYS inspired by The M Machine as well!

What are you most excited about in the electronic music scene right now?

I’m excited about how damn good everyone is. It’s quite frankly annoying but inspiring, because you hear new records every week that make you go “how in the fuckleberry did they do that? How did they think of that?” It seems like electronic music just keeps reaching new heights in terms of quality. I don’t think the bubble has burst, matter of fact I think it’s going to keep getting bigger and bigger… unless country/trap completely takes over and everyone is wearing ass-chaps, boots, and gold chains. 


NMF Roundup: Skrillex and friends release ‘Malokera,’ Alison Wonderland and QUIX team up + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex and friends release ‘Malokera,’ Alison Wonderland and QUIX team up + moreSkrille Live Aug 2017 Billboard 1548 0

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Skrillex kicks off the weekend with a stacked collaboration, “Malokera,” with MC Lan, TroyBoi, Ludmilla, and Ty Dolla $ign. Alison Wonderland and QUIX have teamed up for “TIME,” and Louis The Child and Wrabel deliver a bittersweet joint effort called “Too Close.” CRAY brings a retro tone to her latest, “idontwannatalkaboutlove,” and The Knocks continue their summer releases with “Colors.” Cashmere Cat is full of “EMOTIONS” on his newest, and Good Times Ahead (formerly GTA) get with Flosstradamus for “Waffle House.” Cedric Gervais remixes DJ Snake, J Balvin, and Tyga’s “Loco Contigo,” and Mazare and Essenger turn it up to 11 on their new Monstercat single, “Berzerker.” The Chrises got in the studio for a new Anti Up single, “Right Now,” and Alok and Zafrir bring “Vale Vale” to listeners’ ears. HEYZ previews his new Bite This! album with “Castaway King,” and Valentino Khan drops off his new EP, stacked with songs like “BRB.” Fedde Le Grand puts his own touch on Matoma, MNEK, and Kiana Lede’s “Bruised Not Broken,” and Herobust preps for the weekend with “Dumb Lit.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images